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Look of love Sony Pictures' double features will delight

If your house is already decorated with red hearts and cupids for Valentine's Day, then you're probably just the type of person Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has in mind with five new "holiday"-themed double features.

The company has been double-feature happy of late, packaging all sorts of similar-themed movies in affordable sets, including this new slate of "America's most-cherished romantic comedies." I wouldn't quite call them all that (there's nothing funny about the Julia Roberts vehicle "Mona Lisa Smile, for example), but there are some cute films included. Each two-movie set is only $19.94.

Here's the roundup:

"Legally Blonde" and "Legally Blonde 2: Red, White and Blonde": Reese Witherspoon is cleaning up the awards for her portrayal of June Carter Cash, but fans love her when she turns up the adorable factor as she does in portraying Elle Woods, the pink-loving young lass who takes Harvard Law School, and then D.C. in the sequel, by storm.

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"Maid in Manhattan" and "Fools Rush In": These two lightweight romantic comedies get by on sheer star power alone. Jennifer Lopez is a maid and Ralph Fiennes is a senatorial candidate in the enjoyable Cinderella story, "Maid in Manhattan." Matthew Perry and Salma Hayek are ever so likable as two people who learn to love each other after a hasty marriage.

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"The Man in the Moon" and "Benny & Joon": This double feature leans heavily on drama, but it may very well be the best of these combos. "The Man in the Moon" is an excellent (and tragic) coming-of-age drama that stars Reese Witherspoon in her film debut, along with Jason London and Sam Waterston. "Benny & Joon" is a touching movie about an eccentric young man (Johnny Depp) who falls for a mentally ill woman (Mary Stuart Masterson). Aidan Quinn is the brother who puts his life on hold to care for her. Sounds morbid, but it's not, thanks to Depp's talent for physical comedy. Look for Julianne Moore in a small role.

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"Mona Lisa Smile" and "America's Sweethearts": Fans of Julia Roberts get two for the price of one here. Roberts takes on the age-old role of the offbeat teacher with life lessons to teach. Her students are played by a who's who of young Hollywood including Kirsten Dunst, Julia Stiles and Maggie Gyllenhall. Roberts fares better in "America's Sweethearts" as a newly slimmed-down woman who has a crush on her sister's ex. That sister is played by Catherine Zeta-Jones and the ex by John Cusack. The appealing twosome are a Hollywood golden couple trying to keep fans from learning they've split so they can promote their new film. Billy Crystal lends plenty of comic relief.

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"The Wedding Planner" and "My Best Friend's Wedding": Roberts also stars in "My Best Friend's Wedding," a movie that proves people love her no matter what, since her character is a bit nasty in her efforts to win the heart of her newly engaged best friend (Dermot Mulroney). Thankfully, Rupert Everett is there to steal the movie. In "The Wedding Planner," Lopez plays a -- surprise -- wedding planner who falls in love with the fiancee of one of her clients. Having Matthew McConaughey star in one of his most charming roles onlyhelps.

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DVD Extra

13 Going on 30: Fun and Flirty Edition: Jennifer Garner grows up overnight with the help of magical dust in this romantic comedy also starring Mark Ruffalo.

Bonus features: Alternate beginning and ending; blooper reel; deleted scenes; featurettes; director's commentary. ($19.94, Sony. Available Tuesday.)

e-mail: truberto@buffnews.com

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